How to Open a Play

I don’t open films the same way that Shakespeare opened plays.  The first shots in Dara Says contain no words.  It opens with a series of actions, and in the first couple of minutes there are fewer than ten words spoken.

We created a draft of the opening for the crowdfunding campaign.  Here’s the video of the first few minutes from that campaign.

The script for the final film was identical, but we used different music and paced things differently.

I wrote the screenplay thinking that “film is a visual medium”, but a lot of story is told through the dialogue, tones of voice and other sounds.  Film is an audio-visual medium.
Continue reading How to Open a Play

Lesson from history: only a madman would write for a living

It started as a story on the Hokusai Manga, for the 1812 timeline, and it turned to the study of an inconvenient truth.

A horned demon holding a severed head and pointing to it with long nails, laughing
Want to be a writer? Hokusai’s demon is laughing at you!

Okay, some writers are billionaires. I’m ready for your list of best selling authors and other freaks. A lot of Hollywood’s top producers started as writers, or at least a few of the top CEOs have degrees in subjects like literature and English.

But history tells us that these successes are freak. And that’s where 1812 comes into all this.

You know Manga? No, not the fruit from India, the art from Japan. Yeah, out East somewhere. Well, apparently the “Mangas”, or Hokusai Manga, a series of historic cartoons, were started in 1812. They weren’t published until two years later, but hey.

The artist needed money, and so he taught. This involved travel, and seeing a lot of interesting things (which had more inspiration). He also published some books of his work. And this is where we get to writers. Continue reading Lesson from history: only a madman would write for a living

Contest: reject a character

Is there a character in fiction that you think got off too easy? Or perhaps one that had it too rough?

Or are you just sick of rejection letters, and want to reject someone else for a change?

Share your frustrations by writing your own rejection letter to a fictional character.

The winner will get credit on this blog and within the participating networking groups.

If you’re too lucky to know what a rejection letter looks like, an example has been provided. Sorry Mr Igor

Deadline 19 March 2010 at 2 pm.

(You can enter for free.  Simply add your entry, or a link to it, as a comment on this blog.)

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Edit: Winners announced.

Lubna made me laugh and I’m glad to have her posts on the blog.  Laura Sherman’s was also entertaining. Any of their posts could have been a winner.

This time I’m going with Donna F. Hammett’s rejection of Scarlette. It captures the Old South, and looks authentic.

The winner of the “Write On, Networkers!” entries was Caroline Koepke’s rejection of Elmer Fudd.